A charge is anything placed on a field or ordinary. Loosely speaking the term can include the ordinaries and sub-ordinaries as well. The charge was originally a separate entity affixed to the shield, and for this reason it is often drawn as a raised, relief object. Typical charges are:
|For example Ermine a crescent or (Richmond) and Gules nine bezants or [sometimes 10 bezants, 4, 3, 2 and 1] (Zouche)|
|For example Azure three water bougets or (Roos of Laxton) and Azure three garbs or (Comyn, Earl of Buchan)|
|For example Argent a chevron between three hinds heads erased gules (Malbis) and Vert an eagle displayed argent, armed or (Bailey)|
|For example Argent three fleur-de-lys azure (Collingridge) and Gules a cinquefoil argent (or ermine) [usually blazoned ermine] (Beaumont, Earl of Leicester)||
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© Gill Smith 1997, 1998